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Jakarta Post

How Indonesia is trying to avoid the pitfalls of Belt and Road cooperation

  • Ko Lyn Cheang

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, July 25, 2019   /  03:42 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Closer ties: Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan (second left) talks with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang (second right) on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Trade and Investment Forum in Beijing on April 12.(Courtesy of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Ministry/File)

At the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in April this year, Indonesia took its first careful steps toward embracing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Indonesia when President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced 30 projects worth US$91.1billion for Chinese “Belt and Road” investment. Since then, it has become clear that Indonesia is attempting to define clearly what the BRI means in Indonesia, and which projects fall under the umbrella of the initiative. But apart from clarifying what is and is not in China’s 21st century Silk Road, Indonesia is also hoping to avoid certain pitfalls that have become synonymous with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s flagship program. “We learned from other countries' – especially Asian countries’ – experience in difficulties when they deal with the Belt and Road Initiative,” Atmad...